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CONNECTS AGAINST CRIME: Christmas Crooks

Updated: Thursday, December 26 2013, 10:27 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Santa came through for many in the corridor this year, and so it's easy to get caught up in Christmas present euphoria.

Police say don't let your guard down completely.

“In the united states there's over 2 million burglaries a year, every 13 seconds a house is burglarized,” says Officer Ben Hayden with the Coralville Police Department.

What does that have to do with your presents? Consider this: Before Christmas Day was over, you could easily come across pictures on social media of people proudly showing off their Christmas haul. One of the more popular mediums was Facebook.

The pictures you think are for friendly eyes only, however, aren’t.

“It just takes one of your friends to like it, now all of that person's friends see they liked it,” Hayden said.

That can lead to you inadvertently advertising your property to the wrong crowd, especially if your profile gives away your location.

“People know 'hey, I know where he lives, I know he's got that new PlayStation,’” Hayden added.

A similar advertisement - leaving empty gift boxes outside your house.

Some are normally cautious about that, like resident Lucy Sackett.

“We don't leave any boxes sitting out like that, we tear everything up and put it in the recycle bin,” Sackett says.

Others say they have slipped up before.

“We've done it before when we get big ticket items,” resident Becky Berven said.

“You see a big lump of boxes just sitting out there,” Chevy Smith added.

Police say that empty big screen box might as well be a neon billboard.

“85% of burglars are going to be that non-professional burglar looking for that easy house,” Hayden said. “They know inside that house is a new 60 inch TV.”

Police say you should try to get rid of those boxes as soon as you can if you haven't already. In addition, exercise restraint and don't post those pictures and selfies to Facebook.CONNECTS AGAINST CRIME: Christmas Crooks


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